Allergy and Asthma Doctors | Are Allergies Hereditary?


Allergy and Asthma Doctors | Allergies can be a common theme in some families while other families have a sudden onset of an extreme allergy with no past family history. Some allergy doctors see generations of patients within the same family. Check out these things to know about allergies being hereditary within the family:

General Answer: Maybe

Usually, allergies can develop due to past family history. The allergy is passed down to kids through the genes of a parent. However, as in every child, the copies of genes that a child receives aren’t always exactly what the parent provides. Just because you have an allergy doesn’t necessarily mean that your child will develop the same allergy. If anything, a history of allergies within the family predisposes that your child has more of the likelihood to develop allergies.

If you suffer from a severe nut allergy your child may be able to eat nuts without any issues. However, they will be more likely to develop an allergy to anything because of your own allergy. Allergy doctors will tell you that allergies are a defect in the immune system. Your body doesn’t identify the allergen correctly and therefore wages war on something that isn’t actually a germ. This tendency to overreact to harmless things can be passed down to children.

Recent studies have shown that not only are allergies inherited but that they are also related specifically to gender. This shows that mothers are more likely to pass an allergy to a daughter while fathers are more likely to pass an allergy to sons. Again, this isn’t the same allergy that is being passed but the body’s process of miss-identifying harmless agents.

..But Maybe Not

On the other hand, some allergies develop without any kind of family history. Experts also think that other factors come into play when it comes to allergies like air pollution, environment, and even diet. There are plenty of cases that show patients who have an extreme reaction to something without any kind of family history.

Overall, the general consensus is that allergies are passed down from generation to generation. However, the type and severity of an allergy can greatly vary from parent to child.

If you have any other questions about a possible allergy in your family, contact an allergy doctor at the National Allergy & ENT today.